RYE/PORT CHESTER, N.Y. – Rye and Port Chester motorists may start to notice gas prices trickling down at the pump, as the gas shortage and spectacular lines at stations have subsided after Hurricane Sandy.
As of Thursday afternoon, New Yorkers were paying $3.88 per gallon for regular ($4.22 for premium) – the most on the U.S. mainland, and eight cents higher than in Connecticut, which was the second highest nationwide. The cheapest gas could be found in Mississippi at $3.13 a gallon.
In Rye, the cheapest gas was found at the Getty on Boston Post Road for $3.99 a gallon, while the most expensive gas was at the Mobil on Theodore Fremd Avenue for $4.17 a gallon.
In Port Chester, the Citgo station at 454 Midland Ave. had the lowest gas at $3.91 a gallon, while the Mobil on King Street was charging the highest price, $4.05 a gallon.
Nationally, motorists were paying an average of $3.40 per gallon for regular and $3.72 for premium on Thursday. Prices were10 cents higher than they were a year earlier, but three cents lower than in the previous week.
AAA New York spokesperson Robert Sinclair said Hurricane Sandy caused prices to be the highest they’ve ever been on Thanksgiving Day.
“We had a good trend of gasoline prices going down in the last half of September, and it went down 26 cents in October. Thanks to the hurricane, it dropped less than a dime in November,” he said. “We were peaking much higher in our region as a result of the storm.”
If normal gas price cycles continue, prices should continue dropping until they bottom out in December or January, Sinclair said. They should stay flat for some time before they begin a slow and steady climb toward the end of February or beginning of March.
Sinclair warned that the weather may still be a factor in another price spike if it gets extremely cold.
“The X factor is the cold weather. If thermostats get cranked up, we’re going to need more home heating oil,” he said. “When there’s a need for more oil, it causes competition with gas – which would lead to the prices of heating oil and gasoline both rising.”
Motorists in the area don’t seem to mind the steep prices; they are just happy to be able to fill up their tanks.
"I never had to wait on a crazy line, luckily, because I commute by train most of the week, but I was getting worried that I would have to," one driver said while filling up her Honda at the Sunoco station on Boston Post Road between Port Chester and Rye. "The prices now aren't great, but at least I can get gas."